Welcome to British Isles Friday! British Isles Friday is a weekly event for sharing all things British and Irish — reviews, photos, opinions, trip reports, guides, links, resources, personal stories, interviews, and research posts. Join us each Friday to link your British and Irish themed content and to see what others have to share. The link list is at the bottom of this post. Pour a cup of tea or lift a pint and join our link party!
Last week, I made a list of British things that make me happy — that was fun! Sim shared a series of colour photos taken in England and published in National Geographic in 1928. Heather reviewed the regency novella The Governess Affair. Tina read #15 in the DCI Banks Series, Strange Affair. Georgie shared photos of costumes for plays set in historic Britain, displayed at The Old Globe in San Diego. Karen reviewed The Ice House by Nina Bawden and Becky reviewed Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain.
Dancing on the Edge is a 1930s jazz-themed TV mini-series that aired on BBC in 2013. Our local PBS station played it over the summer. I’m not sure how widely it’s been broadcast in the US, but it’s worth checking out. It looks like the full episodes are currently available at PBS.org.
American audiences will recognize the actor who plays the band-leader. Chiwetel Ejiofor had the lead role in 12 Years a Slave. Angel Coulby plays Jessie, the band’s lead singer. She was familiar to me as the actress playing Guinevere in the long-running series Merlin. I also recognized Matthew Goode who played the music reporter, Stanley. He was the actor who portrayed Mary’s race car-driving love interest in the last couple of seasons of Downton Abbey.
The filming locations delighted me. We instantly recognized the Black Country Living Museum from our visit there. It stood in for the village near Lady Cremone’s estate in at least two episodes. I guessed, correctly, that the Severn Valley Railway was a shooting location. We never made it there but it was on my initial itinerary. Wilton’s Music Hall stood in for the music club in Dancing on the Edge. I haven’t been there in person, but it was part of my Fantasy Christmas visit to London last year.
I would have liked more band music and less intrigue. I would have loved more episodes where the band was at its height. But, that wasn’t really the point, I suppose. The last episode amused me. It was an epilogue with a meta-format — the reporter, Stanley, interviewed the main characters in the series to get some back stories that weren’t apparent in the main part of the story.
Dancing on the Edge is fun for the music, the acting, the historical English setting, and the wonderful locations. Have you seen this series? What did you think?